17 September 2017

the gift of collaboration - sharing my studio with a treasured artist friend

we both adore layers, time worn looks, designing things that look vintage 

we both love textures be it with fabric, paint, papers, stitches

there is a gift in seeing with a very detailed eye the beauty that can show up

watching a piece transform and sharing the joy together

taking the forgotten old, tattered and giving it a new life
This past 4 days I shared my studio space with a dear friend and artist (who I have adored for at least 15 years) Diana D. Darden. She drove from Minneapolis to gather with me and work on designing for a big event outside of Minneapolis this October. My writings are about the gifts to opening up your space to another artist and how many wonderful moments come out of such days.

I believe there is magic to be found in the real time that sits in the studio with two people. The talk, the silence, the listening, the finding music we each love and sharing. Seeing how the other works, holds a paint brush, how they think when creating (fast in the process or slow) Timing of art is something few people can explain. Sure there are lots of quotes from really cool people about timing of art - when to know a piece is done. There is freedom, trust and pure love in sharing the experience of handing a piece of art back and forth and trusting the other person to add their energy.

I loved this process with Diana. The days were long and full of discovery and digging in our piles of time loved bits to create together. I am grateful for this time in my life. Rarely do we get to sit and create day after day with someone who we love.

My wish for others is to be brave, fearless and keep opening up your heart, your studio, your table to listen and create with others. It matters.



11 September 2017

giving thanks for my life being saved 15 years ago. yes, i give thanks several times every single day.

i walked miles and miles in Deephaven with my dogs. everyday. 

i nested and created a home that was beautiful to me.

i lived 8 houses up the hill from lake minnetonka. 

Dr. Michael Schueppert (Vascular Surgeon) SAVED MY LIFE!

Methodist hospital filled with talented nurses, doctors saved my life. 

looking up as i walked in the hospital, the last view i saw. 

what is a renal artery aneurysm

I am a person who tries very hard to look at my life and be grateful for everything everyday. It is not easy but, I do practice the noticing, manifesting goodness and I believe in giving back in ways that I can (in being grateful for my life being saved).

Never had I imagined that I would be told without this surgery (and fast) you will die. You might die even with the surgery. WOW!!! I was not really great at processing all of this information as quickly as I thought I could. I cried and then I got serious about getting my life in order. I made lists of everything I needed to have others know (in case I did not make it) I had all of my affairs in order (as they say) I prayed. I prayed lots. I asked my main surgeon if he thought he could save me. His answer was this "You have to believe I can save you and trust me. I can tell you without this surgery you will die and soon." So with that I empowered myself with everything I knew how to.

See I had been sick, really sick. I had always been active and walked fast with my black lab like a ninja. I was loyal walking lots and lots, I did not stop to chat I power walked in every season. Then one day I came in and could barely walk upstairs. I was so tired, winded and weak. That started my journey of going to doctor after doctor, each saying that my blood pressure was super high but, no real reason for it? Then I started passing out at random spots, dressing rooms at stores, in my kitchen, driveway, restaurants each time going by ambulance to the hospital. Each time being released with a new story of nothing. I kept going. I kept searching for a doctor who would do more then give me more medicines. Finally, I asked at my local clinic for an old school doctor who would meet with me and just listen. I was told there was only one and he was not taking new patients, sorry. I begged, I drove over to the clinic and begged leaving my charts from the past 8 months for the doctor to look at. They were not super pleased with me, I did not care. I knew that I needed help. The very next morning the old school (soon to retire doctor) called me and asked how quickly I could get to his office. I said ten minutes. I was there in ten and in twenty he knew that I had an aneurysm. WOW.
He made an immediate appointment sending me to Dr. Schueppert's office.

Then the reality of realizing my situation finally came true. I knew that I was sick, finally someone believed me. Thank God.

My aneurysm was on my rental artery and had wrapped around my right kidney and had killed off most of that kidney. YEP, that is why I was so sick. I was thrilled to have an answer and also afraid of what might lay ahead. I believed with my whole heart that if I believed I would live, stayed positive, used humor to help get me through I would be fine (better then fine) GOOD!!!

I made lists of promises to myself. I would get a divorce from a very unhealthy marriage. I would create more art for me personally. I would try to help others more.  I would share more of the goodness and miracle that would be given to me by living.

I was told I would be in the hospital for at least 3 weeks. In one week I had myself managing pain with Advil (as I am allergic to pain meds) I was up and going home. Yes, I had a long recovery but, I did it.

I have also stayed true to everything on my list. I still work on that list 15 years later. As I get older I get more determined to get that big dream of mine.

I will! Yes, I will. Each day I will continue to give thanks for my miracle which is my life.


11 July 2017

Reflecting on this year so far, as it is my birthday week! Wow!!

Honored to have been asked to be in the fine gallery Outside the Lines in Galena. 
Making our nest "OUR OWN" We purchased this home in May. 

Designed, branded and styled this beautiful boutique for one of my best friends.

loved daily these two. my hearts.

Published in one of my all time favorite magazines Uppercase Mag.
Landed the cover of this book Uppercase Magazine published.

Discovered new painting styles within me. 

created spirit wands and loved every minute. 

our home. 

cut lots of hair off and went blondeR.

I always love to look at what my year looks like half way through as my birthday is July 15th. This day is so special to me as I have always been one to celebrate life. It has even more meaning to me since I turned 39 and almost left this heavenly earth. I am much more mindful of my time, energy and how I give love. I am delighted and most grateful to be turning another year older on Saturday.

I made a quick list of things that I have accomplished this year so far. I make vision boards and I use them. I do well with visuals they keep me on track. Gratefully I create more.

I overcame much fear, anxiety and really ended up proud of myself so far, so good. I face new stuff everyday like most of you. I am bound and determined to overcome the stuff that gets in my way.

Quick list.
1. I taught at Art is You in Minneapolis to wonderful students and fellow artists. Praying to be asked back as it was freeing, loving and so much more then I hoped for.
2. We purchased our home we had been renting for two plus years in Galena. We can now make it our  own and do improvements. We so love this house. Most of you know it was once a church built in 1838. Oh, the energy here is magic!!!
3. I love designing logos and so far I have created, branded 13 logos and counting.
4. Painted 16 new spirit warriors.
5. Added 11 new cards to my card line of 90. Now at 111. Love that number so much.
6. Co-hosted one benefit here in Galena to help a friend.
7. Super honored to have been published 3 times with Stampington Magazine.
8. Super honored to have the cover of Stitch - Illo and 8 pages featuring my art by Uppercase Magazine.
9. July 29 and 30 my art soul sister Lisa Sonora will travel from Oaxaco Mexico to co teach a two day workshop here in Galena. This is her only workshop in the USA this year. I am honored beyond.
10. Celebrated birthdays, mothers day, fathers day, and lots of everyday graces.
11. Designed and printed my licensing book. They are being created into loving artful packages that are flying around this country.  I am firmly believing I will be licensed. Yes, I will!
12. I am now making every effort to be featured in Where Woman Create as this has been a dream of mine for over 15 years. Must make it happen.

So as I reflect on Jan to July I am feeling proud of me. Proud of the family and friends who love me and help me be the very best ME i can be.

Thanks for showing up to be in my world. You matter a lot to me. With love ME.

http://www.kellimaykrenz.com/ more about my life as an artist here

http://lisasonora.com/blog/ you can still sign up for THE WORKSHOP with Lisa Sonora here.

http://uppercasemagazine.com/stitchillo/ Uppercase Magazine Stitch-Illo book

https://stampington.com/somerset-gallery Spirit Warrior Article here.

https://stampington.com/the-coloring-studio Coloring pages designed by me here.

07 June 2017

Passport to Galena - Boho Prairie with Lisa Sonora and I

world traveler, teacher, soul spirit journal Lisa Sonora 

gorgeous Lisa Sonora 

spirit warrior painting Kelli May-Krenz 

Creative Passport Galena - Boho Prairie

A Weekend Workshop in a Magical Riverside Prairie Town Celebrating Your Spirit Warrior Creative Self

with Lisa Sonora & Kelli May Krenz
Saturday, July 29 – Sunday, July 30, 2017
For women who crave a creative getaway, in the company of kindred spirits — two caring and experienced artist / teachers who will bring out the best of your creativity.
Join us in Galena, Illinois
This little river town is magic filled. You will feel as if you have been transported back in time. This city is all about history, art, music and good food. Here we honor artists and community.
Lisa will be traveling from her home in Oaxaco, Mexico to share magic with me here in this little river town of Galena. I am gushing with grace to know that we are creating a dream come true. We have been creating on this workshop for months, combining our talents to bring you the most amazing process, soul filled days of goodness. 
We are offering our early bird pricing until the 15th of June, 2017.
Our workshop has only a few more spaces to fill, we would love for you to join us. 
When you believe as strongly as we do in sharing, giving and filling up with artistic moments you know in your heart this is the place for you.
To learn more about this workshop please follow the link below.

21 March 2017

Testimonials helping me see myself. Grateful to Tracy Verdugo.

Tracy Verdugo - Take a class with this brilliant artist. 

St. Pete Beach Florida - Tracy's class I attended.
pure love = Tracy Verdugo

the beach gave so much beauty.

sunshine and art perfect combination

amen. i do this daily.

Several years ago now I took a painting class in St. Pete Beach Florida taught by the talented crazy beautiful soulful Tracy Verdugo. This class has changed me to be a better artist. I am most grateful.
I have been working this year on going for everything I can. I want to be a big licensed artist, I want to travel and teach and I want to get my art in the mainstream. In order to do this I must work steady and hard to share more of me. I also was told that testimonials help. So I continue to open up my fears and bust through them. Tracy has become a dear friend of mine, I am silly grateful. I asked Tracy if she could possibly write a testimonial for me. This is what she wrote. I was left reading this and thinking WOW how beyond loving is this.

Here are the words my crazy talented friend shared about me. Thank you again Tracy. I love you with my whole heart.

From the moment I met Kelli Jean May-Krenz I knew that the gifts she brings to

the world go far beyond the ordinary. Her capacity to create beauty from every

thing she touches stems from, I believe, her natural inclination to find beauty in

everything she sees. I have had the pleasure of calling this gorgeous woman/

artist/teacher and dreamer friend for several years now and I am always grateful

for her sweet presence in my world.

If ever you have the chance to meet or take part in one of her classes do not

hesitate. She will shift your world as she has mine.
-Tracy Verdugo


17 March 2017

Seeing myself through others eyes. Grateful.

me 2017

I have been working on some really big projects that will put me out into this big world. I am creating like crazy. I am doing it! I am going for it! I am not listening to any internal voices that shine doubt on me or my art! NOPE! Done with that crap! I am pushing through any self doubt or fears. This is my year to SHINE like I know that I was meant to.

I know that I have needed to ask a few friends, clients, people I admire so very much for testimonials on ME. What a hard thing for me to do ~ ask for help. I am great at helping but, asking wow there was a great deal of fear around this for me. I did it anyway. I asked.

This is one of the testimonials I received. I was so set back by his words, I read and read again. Then I looked in the mirror and thought - wow am I blessed. Crazy blessed to be this beloved.

Reading this still chokes me up. I am grateful to see myself through a few others eyes.

Testimonial by Jeff Arundel.

"I first met Kelli when a group gathered to help a friend of ours who had cancer - we were putting
on a fund-raiser, and various things were needed, including invitations and other design stuff.
Kelli (who was helping even though she didn’t even really know the person) passed out some
mock-ups. Being kind-of snobby when it comes to design, I was prepared to see some typical work
that had been pasted together, but when the designs made their way around the table to me, I saw
some of the most breath-taking, detailed, handcrafted work I had ever come across! My head
snapped up and I peered down the table, wondering ”who is this Kelli May”? At the other end sat
a tiny blonde, shyly offering her lovely work to the room (and helping a person she didn’t really know).

Once you get to know Kelli, the breadth of her talent can dumbfound you. With me, she has designed
a comprehensive line of kids clothing, hand-drawn various record jackets, painted, toted our her
sewing machine and sewn draperies and cushions, and in general brought the world-class twinkle of
natural greatness to everything she has worked on. And besides that, she paints in a signature style,
and writes, and dresses using vintage stuff. I know, it sounds like I’m making it up, but I’m not.
Kelli is a tiny Whirling Dervish of creativity, and she is gathering momentum as she careens forward
into new creations. How could one little person be so good at so much?”
~ Jeff Arundel    jeffarundel.com

Seriously, how lucky am I. The path to believing in yourself is out there. Seek it! Follow it and never ever give up!!!


01 March 2017

becoming more of me 2017

little me. i had a pixie haircut until i was 18. 

she believed she could so she did! I believe I can. 

2011 Paris France. I have such a connection to this city.

2017 changing all of my comfort zones.

March 1st seems like a perfect time to blog about ME. I have been thinking lots about what makes me - ME. I will share this with you I have suffered from anxiety and depression my entire life. Mainly anxiety and lack of self esteem. SHOCKED? Nope it is true. I work daily at filling myself up and practicing positive living. It is not easy. I might make it look easy but, I promise you it is not.
I am blessed with a knowing that my creating, my art is how I am meant to live my life. My art is truly my escape and my therapy.

Three years ago I made the choice to back out of my corporate freelance with graphic design and illustration. I have owned my studio for 25 years. I had really steady lovely clients. I made the decision to sell the home I had lived in for 17 years, sell most everything I could and move across the country with my hubby and Pearl Button. We did it!!! We moved to Florida (thinking this was the dream come true) Time would tell us that it was not.

I continued while I was there to start creating for me. Not for anyone but, me. I have been told my entire life that I need to pick one style, or try to fit into this mold, do this like they do and you will sell more. NOPE!!! I cannot, will not copy others, I will not just show that I can do one style. See God has blessed me to draw, paint, graphic design, sew, style spaces. Not only one style of these but, lots and lots. I am in no means bragging because see I have no ego either.

Rare to meet an artist that has no ego and not cocky with self esteem. So I am learning now at this time in my life that yes, I have anxiety and it is a big deal to face daily. I also know that I am not listening to those trying to hold me back. I am taking bigger risks, facing bigger fears no matter how much it is scary.

I am sending all sorts of my styles of artwork (very soon) into the world. I am determined to make a difference with my art! It matters to me that I succeed wildly. See I know what it is like to go to the very bottom and with help from others stand up again.

I am standing, I am walking along the rivers edge praying for the manifesting of my dreams. I am also working day and night to create this life.

I want others to know that my life is not easy. I wake up each day and pour more love on me and practice all of the words you see me right. The old bad habits fall away and new ones replace them.

Just like you I have big stuff that I must juggle with. I am only showing up real, honest and hoping to help.

Loving more.


19 January 2017

Growing up in a little river town.

I grew up in a little river town. I think we had one stoplight. I lived one block from the mighty Mississippi river. I loved the river. We lived on the river in the summer, my dad always had boats and mom and dad and I would pack the coolers, get gas for the boat and launch out for a sun filled boating adventure.

I have been looking at the spirit warrior paintings that keep coming to be for the past several months. They are changing (I actually am liking them) they seem to be bringing me comfort and a sense of home. They are teaching me what is important to my soul at this time in my life. I am listening, paying close attention, journaling and taking notes. How does my style work in this medium? Where is the graphic designer in all of this that I have been for most of my career? I can tell I am heavily influenced by color I was in my design work as well. I still continue to layer, layer and layer more.
 I too do that in my design work. I like these discoveries.

I love what the river and nature has taught me. It feels like home whenever I am around water, sand, fields, docks, cabins. I simply feel alive when I see water. I adore it. I have big plans in my life for this summer (perhaps we will be able to afford a small boat) that would be dreamy.

I know the river has much to teach me still. I feel it. My spirit warriors are starting to become more about nature and elements that breathe life into me. Fire, water, fields, flowers a delicate balance of seeing and capturing these elements with paint. I like it.

I have found that my favorite medium to paint on is heavy wood. I love being able to sand it, cut into it, layer and layer then remove and make marks. It is forgiving and still looks amazing with the raw attempts to texturize it. Yes, I am fond of wood.

Interesting I find that home for me is near water, with a fire, wind, rocks to discover, driftwood to collect, shells to wash ashore. The little girl from the little river town is becoming whole and healing here in this tiny new town of historic everything in the past two years that we have lived here in Galena Illinois.

I have much to give in this artful life I have created. This is the year I give. I show up. I create big huge stuff. I reveal all of my walks, challenges and pray that I help others believe in good, know pure joy, and really appreciate just being alive. I have really big goals this year that I will continue to share. I am full out blasting open every fear and going for it all. I am asking friends for help if I need the connections, I am learning programs, video skills for online class creating. Meeting others who can help guide me to be the best artist I can be.

Tomorrow it is suppose to be 44 degrees here (kind of a heat wave in January)
I will go to the river and thank it for all it continues to bless me with.

Perhaps you have a special place that makes you feel most alive? Maybe, you too can visit it.
I wish this for you.


08 January 2017

2017 blessed, lucky, spirit filled = my life.

blessed spirit. one of my original paintings in my series of spirit warriors. 
I have been thinking lots about what it means to be lucky. What does it mean to be blessed? I am of firm belief that it does not mean you live a super charmed easy life. Nope. Not for me at least. I believe that my life is tested in ways others might not see as lucky or blessed. I seem to have a big bit of huge scary stuff that continues to create me. I am stronger, braver, more blessed because I have survived.

I have been faced with a renal artery aneurysm, a horrible cheating lying marriage (due to his being gay and not admitting), watching someone i love die suddenly in three minutes and being able to do nothing (enlarged heart), several "normal" surgeries gone terribly wrong, people being truly ugly and mean. I know every single soul has big stuff.  I am not saying, "Oh I have so much hard life stuff."
I know that many of you suffer much bigger, much worse and so much harder life stuff. I get it.
My wish is to show others you can survive and be a spirit warrior to not only yourself but, to others as well.

Okay, so the list could go on. Here's what I believe I am really lucky to have seen this part of life, lived through it with all of my imperfections. I am here, I am able to help others (I pray) by showing up and living a full happy, joy filled life. I have financial struggles like some. I get up every single day and choose to see my life as great, filled with more possibilities, more love and really excited to share my joy for living.

I am choosing to make this fine year of 2017 the year I break all of my silences that keep me from being all that I am meant to be. I am going for all of the moments I dream of. I will find ways to finance these dreams. I will make myself known for a shining light and help others dream bigger and know they are loved always. I will write my book and I will publish it.

See I am so lucky because since I was a very little girl I have know that my art would matter. That I could do nothing else. I must create every single day. I have so much to share, give and gift in this world. I have often said that if I had lots of money - I mean lots - I would gather handmade gifts and just spend my days = gifting others. I love packaging gifts and sending them out into the world.

Perhaps, my gifts are here in social media too? I know one thing for sure. I am grateful, I am lucky and I am beyond blessed to have this knowing inside my soul.

Loving more. I am choosing this every single day.


02 January 2017

new year. new visions. old fears being faced.

intentions set 

I am grateful to have this New Year of 2017 in front of me. I have all sorts of new ways of going about creating my dreams. This year I am facing every fear one by one. I am shooting for the big stars and putting all of my intentions around showing up everyday and blowing it out!

My first fear is a biggie. Nothing to do with my studio at all. In the morning I will be having a big dental procedure done. I am afraid. See when I was younger I almost died because of a bad surgeon. Sure I have been having my teeth cleaned regularly, I still have fear. I have survived really big stuff in my life. So when I speak of this fear most of my friends think it is silly as this is so small compared to the other life changing events I have survived.

So I am surrounding myself with prayers of wanting all to go smoothly and perfectly. No surprises, being able to tolerate the sedation and not throwing up in the chair. Healthy new me. Yes, this is my first big fear I am facing. Knowing that the building of my art world seems so easy compared to this morning to come.

I am planning on blogging regularly this year. I think it is so nice to share the easy and the hard stuff. Perhaps, I can help a few others while sharing. This is my wish. Loving more. Being braver and marching stronger.

you can follow me at these nifty spots too